Today, November 10, 2020, the United States Marine Corps turns 245 years old.
The origins of the Marine Corps date back to the Revolutionary War in 1775. During this time the Continental Congress decided there was a need for Marines to oversee a mission they had developed to intercept British ammunition shipments. This decision coupled with a November resolution to create an official Marine Corps force were key factors in what eventually became the modern-day U.S. Marine Corps.
The U.S. Marine Corps official site states, “Throughout the American Revolution, the Marines served with distinction about the Continental vessels, but with the end of that conflict, the entire Naval Service was so neglected through lack of appropriations and necessary legislation that by 1785 it actually ceased to exist.” This remained true until 1794 when Congress issued legislation that addressed the need for a Navy and Marine Corps. This was the first time it was discussed since the Revolutionary War.
The U.S. Marines mark the birthday of their branch with formal dinners and “Birthday Ball Pageants” in Washington D.C. and on installations around the world. The Marine Corps Ball is a celebration of Marine Corps history and tradition. This tradition originated in 1925. The Marine Corps Ball is highlighted with a ceremony. One key piece of this ceremony is the cutting of the cake. This also includes speeches, the reading of General John A. Lejeune’s birthday message, as well as a message from the current Commandant.